I've thought about starting a whole new blog just for posts about cataloging, but I don't think I'll ever end up writing enough to justify its existence. However, I'm a cataloger and love what I do, so cataloging is a large part of what I think about, and there are occasionally things that are nice to get off my chest. For the moment, I'll publish those occasional posts here, and label them all "cataloging" or something like that - if my cataloging posts ever start to get out of hand, I can see about starting a separate blog. That makes two labels, "cataloging" and "blog updates," the only two labels I use in this blog that have nothing to do with movies/books/etc. I'm writing about.
If you're not particularly interested in cataloging, you might want to skip this post and others like it. Well, you've been warned, so now on to the topic that inspired me to create a new post label: RDA (Resource Description and Access).
The review draft was made available for downloading in PDF format early last week, not long before I left for the conference. RDA is enormous, and I've been busy compiling my qualifications for being the cataloger at my library (the form is long and feels like an invasive job application), so I haven't been able to read through as much of it as I would like - at this point, I've read Chapter 0, Chapter 1, and portions of Chapter 2, the appendices, and the glossary. AUTOCAT, the RDA Discussion List, and more have been buzzing with opinions about RDA, which I've been trying to keep track of.
So far, those who think RDA is a monumental mess seem to be the most vocal of the lot. I think the strongest support I've heard for RDA lately has been that it's a "step in the right direction."
My own opinion of RDA? Well, I'm more on the "monumental mess" side of things. The little I've been able to get through of RDA so far has worried me. I can't skillfully dissect RDA's problems the way some AUTOCATers have - I recognize the problems when these people point them out, but I haven't necessarily noticed these problems when I've read through these sections on my own. I know I'd recognize potential problem areas in RDA a lot easier while actually using RDA to catalog something - and therein lies my problem with RDA. How is one supposed to actually use RDA to catalog something? RDA's structure doesn't really seem to have been created with practicing catalogers in mind...
As the primary cataloger at my library, I worry about what's going to happen when/if RDA gets implemented. If RDA is widely implemented, my library will definitely be implementing it as well - there's no way around that, because there would simply be no time to take every RDA record and edit it according to AACR2.
Will my library be able to afford RDA? The only reason we have a completely up-to-date copy of AACR2 is because I brought my personal copy to work with me - otherwise I'd be using a copy of AACR2 missing, at the very least, the most recent update. I'm not sure how affordable RDA is going to turn out to be, and, if it's more expensive than AACR2 and its various updates, it may become a problem.
Will I be able to get any training in the use and application of RDA, or will I be forced to somehow teach myself how to use it? I really don't know. I guess it depends upon whether any training opportunities will be available in my state, and how close they'll end up being to my town.
I have lots of other worries about RDA, but it's late and I'm tired. This is supposed to be a fun blog about books, movies, and such, so I'll try to make this my one and only RDA post. It does feel nice to get a little of that off my chest, though - I haven't been brave enough to post to the listservs much, yet.